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Dave Morris summary on problems with carbon trading

Dave Morris: "Problems with Carbon Trading." An outline of his argument: Buying offsets encourages complacency. Carbon trading is inherently susceptible to fraud and manipulation. Carbon trading encourages cheating and rewards low-cost cosmetic changes while undermining higher cost innovation. Carbon trading separates authority and responsibility, undermining coherent, holistic, community-based efforts. We have alternatives -- carbon taxes, and caps without trading. Read the whole thing.

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A Fine Discovery

Some coral may be resistant to acidification, reefs still doomed The world's oceans are on track to be more acidic by 2100 than they've been for 20 million years, thanks to our fiendish friend carbon dioxide. But research by Israeli scientists shows that the coral polyps living in underwater reefs may be able to survive, even as the reefs themselves are destroyed. Marine zoologist Maoz Fine put two Mediterranean species to the test and found that, while the reef skeletons started to dissolve when acid levels rose, the polyps reproduced and grew to an unrecognizable size. "Our students -- everyone …

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Alternative School

U.S. college students are, like, totally into clean energy In answer to the loathed question "What are you going to do after you graduate?" gaggles of U.S. college students are looking into careers in alternative energy. (A group of college students is called a gaggle, right?) Green technology is having a heyday in schools from Illinois State to Harvard to Dartmouth; energy professor Dan Kammen says enrollment in energy classes at UC-Berkeley "is off the charts." At Stanford, which recently renamed its Petroleum Engineering Department the Energy Resources Engineering Department, attendance at a recent student-organized renewable-energy symposium was nearly triple …

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And the Miliband Played On

Despite talk of cuts, U.K. carbon emissions on the rise It's too bad surging emissions aren't cause for joy. Because then the Brits would be dancing right now instead of tearing each other new ones. But alas: data show that U.K. carbon emissions rose 1.25 percent last year, to the highest level since the Labor Party took charge in 1997. Environment Secretary David Miliband said the U.K. is still on track to meet or beat its Kyoto goals, but conceded that the figures -- fueled largely by a switch from gas to coal power -- are "worrying." Activists were less …

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Say what?

CNN: Global warming "could create opportunities for pharmaceutical, chemical, biotech and healthcare companies, but present serious challenges for paper, agriculture, furniture, energy and the overall economy." Too bad for you suckers who invested in Overall Economy Inc.!

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Wasserman gets it right

But does he have to use the word ‘solartopia’?

This short piece from Harvey Wasserman gets pretty much everything right -- and by "right" I mean, "in agreement with me." My only quibble is that he spends too much time bashing nukes, and bashing them for the wrong reasons (wrong effective-messaging-wise, not necessarily substance-wise). I'd prefer he bash them because they're more expensive and less flexible than R&E, not for the well-hashed-over waste issue. But that's a quibble. Here's the heart of the matter: What's not being said is that the solution to the problem---the necessary transition to Solartopia, a world based on renewable energy---is also the key to …

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More Inhofian troglodyticism

The man blocks Gore’s concert on the Capitol steps

One of the many stories I missed today: Sen. James Inhofe, in a characteristically petty display of foot-stomping, is blocking Al Gore's efforts to have one of his Live Earth concerts on the Capitol steps. Inhofe says it's partisan. Guess it is now. Some good quotes: Noting that many political events -- including the 1990 Earth Day celebration -- have been held on the Capitol steps, [Republican Sen. Olympia] Snowe was, her spokesman said, "genuinely disappointed" by objections from her fellow Republicans. "She thinks it's a very unfortunate message to send that somehow this country is languishing behind in the …

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Corn ethanol myopia

We need to rethink all food based biofuels

The lion's share of biofuel bashing on Grist deals with corn ethanol, because we Americans primarily use gasoline for our cars and ethanol runs fine in them, with few modifications. However, our pals in Europe drive a lot of diesel cars and the biofuel crisis over there revolves primarily around biodiesel. I think it is time we recognize that their problem is also our problem. A comment from Pcarbo alerted me to Monbiot's latest take on biofuels. He has now gone so far as to propose a ... ... moratorium on all targets and incentives for biofuels, until a second …

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Fire on the mountain

Sky Islands getting crispier

Just when you thought Arizona couldn't get any hotter, right? Yesterday's NYT article on how that state's Sky Islands, the uniquely biodiverse plateaus, are changing due to higher heat regimes is borne out not only by news of such destructive fires but also by daily observation on the ground. A friend who works for the Sky Island Alliance in Tucson says her staff, while out ripping up roads or monitoring wildlife corridors, has been noticing that species are disappearing from islands, being squeezed out by the changes. It really brings home that no matter what kind of activism we're involved …

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BBC on 'feeding the world'

The perils of cooking with greenhouse gas.

The BBC has issued a pretty clear-eyed report on food production and climate change, the podcast of which you can download here. The report makes no brief for sustainable ag, but it does cogently question industrial ag's ability to "feed the world" as climate change saps water tables and population continues to grow.

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